Natural Alternatives To Statins For High Cholesterol
Page Medically Reviewed and Edited by Cyrus Khambatta, PhD
In case you didn’t know, heart disease is the number one killer for both men and women around the world.
Each day, over 2,100 people die from heart disease-related issues, which is one person every 40 seconds.
Statistics show that 1 out of every 4 people will suffer a heart attack—and most will die from that heart attack.
There are many different reasons why people suffer from heart disease. It could be poor diet, genetics/family history, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
Unfortunately, many doctors are more than willing to prescribe different medications to treat a number of risk factors for heart disease.
Blood pressure medication, arrhythmia medications, and statins for cholesterol are prescribed routinely to reduce some of the most common heart attack risk factors.
When it comes to cholesterol, statins are often the preferred method of doctors and cardiologists for reducing cholesterol levels.
Are there natural alternatives? There sure are…
Heart Disease And High Cholesterol
In order to reduce your risk for heart disease, there are a number of things you need to do.
- Exercise at least 30 to 60 minutes every day
- Eat a balanced diet consisting of low-fat, plant-based sources
- Lower stress levels
- Maintain normal blood pressure readings
- Lower your total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and raise your HDL (good) cholesterol numbers
For those suffering from high blood pressure and cholesterol, who haven’t been successful changing those numbers with diet and exercise, may be prescribed medications to help control these risk factors.
Although all medication carries certain risk factors, statin medications seem to carry more than other.
Side effects of statin medications may include:
- Abdominal pain
- Abnormal heart beats
- Accidental injury
- Allergic reactions
- Muscle aching and weakness
- Back pain
- Chest pain
- Joint pain
Although these can range from mild to severe, these may not be the worst side effects of statin medications.
The Food and Drug Administration has warned the public of a significantly increased risk for developing diabetes due to statin medication usage.
A study, published in the journal Lancet, analyzed 14 different trials, following over 91,000 people. The researchers found that statin use resulted in a 9 percent increase in type 2 diabetes risk.
Another study, this one published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, showed a 12 percent increase in type 2 diabetes risk associated with statin medication use.
After seeing these results, don’t you think it’s about time to uncover natural alternatives?
The Most Powerful Natural Alternatives
Although statin medications are often prescribed for lowering cholesterol, it may carry certain side effects that could make living nearly impossible.
For example, a client of mine, who started the popular statin, Lipitor, started to suffer immense joint and muscle pain immediately after she started taking it.
Her doctor wrote it off as her being inactive for so long, but the pain got worse over the next week. After getting a second opinion, her doctor took her off of Lipitor and she started to feel better and more “normal.”
After she experienced this, we started looking for natural alternatives to statins for lowering her cholesterol.
We found quite a few, including fish oil, green tea, nuts, and many others.
But, each one only took care of one issue, either total or LDL, but there was no perfect solution.
Until we stumbled on Amla…
Amla, another name for Indian Gooseberry, may be one of the strongest natural alternatives for lowering total and LDL cholesterol, raising HDL cholesterol, and lowering inflammation.
I had never heard of Amla before, as it wasn’t a superfood that was on my—or anyone else’s—radar.
But people in India have been using this ancient medicinal berry for over 5,000 years, as a natural way to treat a wide-range of ailments.
And when it comes to cholesterol, it may be better than statin medications and it doesn’t carry a whole laundry list of side effects.
So what can it do for cholesterol?
Amla has been shown to reduce total and LDL cholesterol levels by 82 and 90 percent, respectively.
A prior study, conducted on men with normal to high cholesterol levels, showed a significant drop in their cholesterol numbers when supplemented with Amla.
A more recent study, comparing Simvastatin, a popular statin medication, with Amla, showed some very surprising results.
As expected, both total and LDL cholesterol levels dropped with the statin medication, which was not surprising.
But what was surprising is this:
The patients, who were supplemented with amla also showed significantly reduced total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
So why aren’t more people using Amla?
That’s a great question…
One Downside of Amla
Amla which has been used for over 5,000 years in Ayurvedic medicine, is one of the world’s lost superfoods.
Although it may be gaining in popularity as a potent superfood, people have reported that it tastes awful—like vinegar and dish soap combined into a nasty drink.
And some forms of Amla are contaminated with pesticides and fungus, which could make them taste even worse.
Many manufacturers, looking to improve on the taste, add sugar and other artificial ingredients to the formula in order to eliminate the sour and bitter taste.
This could negate any of the powerful benefits of Amla, rendering it useless for the person taking it. So you may not see the benefits of lower cholesterol and heart disease risk using most common types of amla.
The Final Thoughts On Natural Alternatives
Heart disease is the number one killer for both men and women around the world. One in every four people may suffer a heart attack, or even die from that heart attack.
Recent statistics show that every 40 seconds someone will die from a heart-disease related event.
One of the main reasons why people develop heart disease may be due to high cholesterol. And those with high cholesterol often are prescribed statin medications.
These medications often carry many different side effects, which could make using this medication unbearable for the user.
That’s why people look for natural alternative to statin medications for high cholesterol. Although there are different kinds, one stands out as the leader at lowering cholesterol naturally.
Amla Green, which has been concentrated 20x and combined with oolong green tea leaves may be a natural alternative for lowering high cholesterol and reducing the risk for heart disease or having a heart attack.
Page Medically Reviewed and Edited by
Cyrus Khambatta, PhD
Cyrus Khambatta, PhD, is a cofounder of Mastering Diabetes and Amla Green is an internationally recognized nutrition and fitness coach who has been living with type 1 diabetes since 2002. Using an evidence-based approach to nutrition and fitness, he first reduced his own insulin usage by more than 40%, and has educated thousands of people with all forms of diabetes how to reverse insulin resistance using food as medicine. Cyrus earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 2003, then earned a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 2012. He is the co-host of the annual Mastering Diabetes Online Summit, a featured speaker at the Plant-Based Nutrition and Healthcare Conference (PBNHC), the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) Conference, Plant Stock, and has been featured on Forks Over Knives, NPR, PBS, KQED, Fast Company, and is the author of the upcoming book Mastering Diabetes.
- Kevin DiDonato